Ask a little kid what their favorite part about birthday parties is and you’ll get a variety of different answers. The ones with a sweet tooth with look at you with a grin and without hesitation shout cake (duh!). The fun loving, adventure seeking adrenaline junkies will tell you it’s all about the games – how are you planning to entertain us? Then there are those who want the best of both worlds; a little something sweet and a little bit of fun. They’ve only got two words for you – Party Favors!
When planning a party for kids (or anyone for that matter), no party is complete without a little goodie bag stuffed with sweets and treasures they can take home. Who needs gold; the only loot we’ve got eyes for is in our loot bags! Party favors aren’t just limited to birthday parties and kids, though. Traditionally they are given to guests at a wide range of occasions as a token of thanks for coming out to the party. Depending on the type of occasion, party favors can be anything from chocolate, toys, flowers, mementos, other types of sweets, etc. Party favors also include a number of items intended to be used at the party to celebrate the occasion. These include whistle blowers, Christmas crackers, confetti poppers, glow sticks, balloons, party hats, etc.
A history of party favors
The tradition of giving out party favors differs all over the world. In Europe for instance, the tradition of giving ‘bonbonniere’ (Italian for boxes of favors) began at wedding celebrations. It was common for aristocrats to give boxes filled with delicate sweets and sugar cubes. At this point in time, sugar was very expensive and so the gift symbolized wealth and royalty. As sugar became more freely available, the boxes were filled with sugar coated almonds in different colors. Over the years, the tradition has transformed and become more elaborate and creative. It is now common to find favors at all manners of parties and special occasions.
Cashing in on favors
There comes a time when you’re trying to plan your next party extravaganza and all you can seem to think is ‘been there, done that’. You want something new, something to shock and awe: a party your guests are sure to remember. You want to be the host of the holy grail of all parties. So bust out your most outrageous party hat. Let’s get this party planning started!
Themed parties are an excellent way to get everyone involved. You can get guests to dress up as characters or wear only specific colors. These parties also provide you with an opportunity to have themed favors!
If you’re having a super-hero themed party, you can jazz up the place with decorations of your favorite caped crusaders. Similarly, your party favors can include a Superman memo pad, a Batman pen, and Spider-man chocolates! If you’re throwing a color-themed party, put up decorations of those colors and provide party favors of sweets and other trinkets that compliment your color scheme.
Holiday & Milestone Favors
The holidays are also an excellent time to give out party favors. For Halloween, you can have little bags in the shape and color of jack-o-lanterns and fill them with chocolate and candy. These will be a definite hit with all those who feel too old to go trick or treating! If you’re throwing a Valentine’s Day party, give guests heart shaped boxes and fill them with chocolate hearts and a small Valentine’s Day card.
Party favors are also ideal for milestone events. They’re a great way to give your guests a memento of the event and thank them for being a part of it. When the time comes for your child to graduate and you throw a party to celebrate, be the coolest parent and don’t forget party favors!
Fill a little box with a memo pad in the shape of a graduation cap, a small graduation picture of your child, and some chocolates.
For baby showers, give your guests little teddy bears or baby booties and chocolates or candies in either blue or pink.
There’s no shortage to what you can do with party favors. You need to decide what your budget is. How many favors you intend to provide. And what sorts of favors you want to fill little bags or boxes with. You can be as creative as you want and even make your own party favors!
These could include homemade treats or crafts. For example, you can make frames with the name and date of your party and give them to your guests. Take a group picture and give a copy to every guest to put in their frames. That way, your party and your favor will become a beautiful memory. A word to the wise: a party is only as good as the treasure it provides by way of party favors (no pressure).